Tuesday, February 12, 2013

System Shopped: Cortex Plus Steps - White Wolf Storyteller System

Cortex Plus Steps
System Shopped: White Wolf Storyteller System
by Tobie Abad

Margaret Weis Productions has changed the way we look at dice.  While in most games, different dice are merely used to represent different levels of damage ranges and the like, Cortex Plus used the dice steps to reflect how those better at something have a greater chance to roll higher rolls.

So here's a way to add something like that to your World of Darkness games.

Why add this?
The new World of Darkness game had a major change in the dice system from the Classic World of Darkness game with the goal in mind to reduce the amount of dice rolling that happens in the game.  God knows during those days, combat would take literally hours to settle given the sheer number of rolls that were required to go through each combat turn.  Allow me to list them down here:

Stealth/Surprise Roll
Awareness Roll
Initiative Roll
Action, typically an Attack
Reaction, usually a Dodge or Block roll.
Damage roll
Soak roll

And that's just assuming the attacker only attacked once, the defender did not counter-attack, neither of them split their dice pool, and used certain powers.  So its not hard to imagine how slow turns passed due to the intense amounts of chucking plastic.

With the new system, a single roll tends to encompass a lot of the rolls, with penalties and bonuses affecting the dice pool before it is rolled.  However, one fundamental source of slowing down still remained part of the roll.   And that was, the concept of an exploding die.  Given a roll of 8 or higher is a success, the game still retained that rolling a 10 allowed the player to roll the die again.  They even added new systems called 9 again and 8 again, which extended the exploding die system to three instead of just one number on the die.

So yes, after adjusting the system to have less rolls, they added it back in again.
And that's why this System Shop exists.

Instead of rolling dice again, the following simple changes are applied:

10 again
Given all rolls have ten again, the first shop is done this way:  Add a d4 to your roll.  As long as at least one of your d10s is a ten, the d4 tells you how many additional successes you've rolled.

9 again
If your dice pool is to have 9 again, Add a d6 to your roll.   As long as at least one of your d10s is a ten, the d6 tells you how many additional successes you've rolled.

8 again
If your dice pool is to have 8 again, Add a d8 to your roll.   As long as at least one of your d10s is a ten, the d8 tells you how many additional successes you've rolled.

While this may produce large numbers of successes when a ten is rolled, they do make the roll come out as either successful or very successful.  That means rolls can be accomplished faster, combat can feel more lethal, and actions can be seemingly more heroic.  Yes,I don't recommend this shop if you want your games to still feel more dark and horrific.  But if you want to make your games feel faster and more empowering, try this shop!


  1. Wow, this change would make nWoD combat really unpredictable and deadly. I'm not sure if I remember it correctly, but I think that it was not that hard for Sin-Eaters to get 8-again on their rolls, let alone other splats that have easy ways to get 9 or 8-again.

    1. I wanted to retain the elegance of the one-roll approach of WOD, so I felt this nicely removed all the additional rolling in an elegant way. I do suspect many will not be comfortable with the shift in the probability graph, but I feel overall it's a nice way to approach things.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...